Colchester United’s under-23s finished 2016 on a winning note after claiming an impressive 2-1 win at Professional Development League Two leaders Charlton Athletic.

Goals from Decarrey Sheriff and Aaron Cosgrave gave Wayne Brown’s side an excellent victory over the table-topping Addicks at Greenwich Borough.

Colchester made the best possible start when Sheriff headed the visitors into an early lead.

But Charlton almost got back on level terms after 17 minutes when good work down the left from Karlan Ahearne-Grant allowed him to advance and cross for Josh Umerah, whose shot was deflected wide.

Louis Dunne came close to doubling Colchester’s lead on the half hour, when only a timely intervention from Charlton skipper Aaron Barnes prevented the U’s youngster from converting.

But Colchester received a let-off ten minutes after the break when the ball came back off a post, after George Lapslie – the brother of U’s midfielder Tom – had squared the ball across the six-yard box.

And it proved a pivotal moment as two minutes, later Cosgrave turned home Charley Edge’s low cross at the far post to make it 2-0.

Charlton responded quickly and Umerah netted from a yard out after Ahearne-Grant had escaped down the left and squared the ball back.

The home side put the pressure on after that and both Umerah and Brandon Hanlan went close.

Umerah’s deflected strike flew straight into the arms of Colchester goalkeeper Rhys Williams with eight minutes remaining.

But Colchester held out to claim an impressive victory and finish the season on a high.